Tags: Lego Movie | Game of Thrones | Time Warner | HBO

'Game of Thrones,' 'The Lego Movie' Boost Time Warner Results

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:51 AM

Time Warner Inc. reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by the box office success of "The Lego Movie" and the popularity of the "Game of Thrones" TV series.

Time Warner is home to pay-TV channel HBO, Warner Bros. movie studio and cable channels such as CNN. It is in the process of spinning off its publishing unit, Time Inc., which publishes People, Sports Illustrated and Time magazine.

The company also narrowed the range of its full-year profit forecast, saying it expects adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations to grow in the low teens, excluding Time Inc.

Previously, the company forecast 2014 adjusted earnings per share to increase by low double digits on a percentage basis from last year's figure of $3.51 per share.

Time Warner's shares were up 5 percent at $68.06 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

HBO revenue rose 9 percent to $1.33 billion as subscriptions increased, driven by the consolidation of HBO Asia and HBO Nordic and the popularity of "Game of Thrones." Home video revenue grew due to DVD sales of the show's third season.

The company said the Season 4 premiere of "Game of Thrones" on April 6 drew HBO's largest audience since "The Sopranos" finale in 2007.

"The Turner Networks and Warner Brothers continue to perform well but we believe HBO could be the real growth story," ISI Group analyst Vijay Jayant said in a note.

Time Warner broke out financials for HBO for the first time last quarter to show investors how it stacks up against rival Netflix Inc., especially for its streaming online product HBO Go.

Netflix's revenue jumped 36 percent to $1.07 billion in the first quarter as the company improved its original content such as the critically acclaimed Kevin Spacey hit "House of Cards."

Time Warner's net income from continuing operations rose to $1.29 billion, or $1.42 per share, in first quarter from $754 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 91 cents per share, above Wall Street estimates of 88 cents per share.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $7.55 billion in the quarter ended March 31. Analysts had expected $6.61 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Excluding Time Inc., revenue rose 10 percent.

Warner Bros. revenue jumped 14 percent, helped mainly by strong performances of "The Lego Movie," "300: Rise of an Empire" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," released in December. The unit also reported a rise in videogames and international television licensing revenue.

Turner revenue increased 5 percent as domestic subscription rates and advertisement revenue rose, mainly due to the airing of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament on Turner networks such as TBS and TNT.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Time Warner Inc. reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by the box office success of The Lego Movie and the popularity of the Game of Thrones TV series.
Lego Movie, Game of Thrones, Time Warner, HBO
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:51 AM
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